Since we are staying for 15 nights in Aruba, here is another week of Aruba adventures. On Monday, Paula and I started out with a pickleball session at the Aruba Racquet Club. We met some pickleballers from Pittsburgh. After the pickleball session, I went to the gym for another leg strengthening workout. I started chatting with Erik, an expat from Amsterdam who grew up in the same Amsterdam neighborhood as I did.

Pickleball at the Aruba Racquet club

In the evening, we went to another Aruba Pickleball Federation event and played pickleball from 7 pm until 9:30 pm. The next morning, we met with two of the pickleballers from Pittsburgh, a mother and son, and played for more than an hour. After pickleball, Paula and I went to the beach at Mangel Halto and did some snorkeling. Here, the snorkeling was the best. I was able to take some underwater photos with my GoPro.

Ready to snorkel

Unfortunately, it took in some water and died. I was able to rescue the photos and videos, but the GoPro was a goner. I also lost another reader. I had taken a selfie at the beginning of the session, and you could still see my glasses sticking out of my collar. However, when I came out of the water, they were nowhere to be found.

On Wednesday, Paula and I rented mountain bikes at FX Sports. From the shop, we crossed over to the North shore. Once on the dirt road along the shore, we rode to the Alto Vista chapel. Paula took a break there in the shade, and I explored the mountain bike trails.

Paula at a rustic Divi Divi tree

When I came back after half an hour, Paula had met Dr. Coco, who sold coconut juice in coconuts. It turns out he had lived, like us, for a while in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Coconut juice refreshments with Dr. Coco (l)

After we finished our coconut juice, we rode along the shore towards the lighthouse at the most northern peak of the island. The road was pretty worn out with all the ATVs and UTVs driving back. It sometimes felt as if we had landed in a Mad Max movie. At the lighthouse, we went for quick ice cream at the neighboring Italian restaurant before continuing along the shore. We briefly stopped to view a cool reef that spewed mist whenever a wave hit it at the right angle. From there, we went south towards Malmok, where we rode on the Salt flats for a bit. Then, we were almost back at the store to drop off our bikes. In the evening, we went for another pickleball session at the Aruba Pickleball Federation.


On Thursday morning, Paula and I went for our last pickleball session at the Aruba Racquet Club, which I followed up with another leg training exercise. On Friday, we rendezvoused with Paul, whom I had met biking 2 years ago on Aruba, at the FX Sports bike shop and went for a bike ride that entailed a lot of trail riding. Besides the fact that the trails were fun to ride, it was also to avoid the busy and pretty worn-out ATV route. Along the way, we stopped at a "natural bridge," basically a reef hollowed out into a tunnel by the ocean. We turned back at the ruins of the old gold factory and found more trails to ride on. The ride back was almost completely on mountain bike trails.

Paula and Paul on the mountain bike trails

On Saturday morning before breakfast, Paula and I did a 30-minute run-walk along the shore followed by a quick dip in the ocean. Later, I went surfing again for 2 hours. While I was waiting for Jeroen to prepare my equipment, I ran into a German windsurfer I had met 2 years ago. He and his friends have visited Aruba for over 10 years now. The surfing was pretty hard; there was more wind, and my arms got pretty tired. I should have asked for a sail with a harness, so I could have provided some relief for my arms. All in all, it was a good session; afterwards, I chatted some more with the Germans. One of them lived in San Francisco.

Paul riding a rock feature

Again, on Sunday morning, we went to play pickleball at the Aruba Pickleball Federation. Fortunately, it was not too busy as last Sunday, and so we got a lot of playtime in.

Another beautiful sunset
2 Mountain bike rides and some hikes on Aruba